Personal Bible Study

There are many that believe in the Bible alone. This is one group.

The Christadelphian religious group traces its origins to Dr John Thomas (1805–1871), who migrated to North America from England in 1832. Following a near shipwreck he vowed to find out the truth about life and God through personal Biblical study.

Using the Bible alone they deny Jesus is God/man because God could not have died on a cross.

I was wondering what other varied and sundry unusual beliefs are fruits of Personal Bible Study we are so fond of hearing about. I expect little controversy and only explanation of groups that have come up with unusual beliefs as a result of Personal Bible Study.:slight_smile:

I talk it that you are opposed to personal Bible study. What do you think is the appropriate means of gaining an in-depth understanding of the Scriptures?

Catholics are called to make the Bible a part of their daily life through meditation on God’s word and scholarly study.

I have a deeper understanding of how I am to live my life according to the teaching of Jesus. I understand the readings at Mass better and how the homily relates to the scripture I just heard. I have more trust in God when things get rough. I am calmed and soothed when temptation comes. The images in the Bible of our Lord being compassionate, eating with sinners and praying in the garden the night before he was to die give me strength and courage and guide me throughout my day.

But for me personally, one of the greatest fruits is that I have a treasury of scriptures in my mind and heart to draw upon in prayer. When I kneel in adoration of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I can draw on His word, because “I do not know how to pray as I ought.”



I take it that you meant take and not talk. I take it that you did not read what I wrote.

There are many that believe in the Bible alone. This is one group.

The Christadelphians were born through personal Bible study by a certain person.

through personal Biblical study.

I was wondering what other varied and sundry unusual beliefs are fruits of Personal Bible Study we are so fond of hearing about. I expect little controversy and only explanation of groups that have come up with unusual beliefs as a result of Personal Bible Study.

Help me understand where you able to infer anything about what I am for or opposed to in what I posted so I may understand your understanding.:slight_smile:


Then in response to my post you would consider that your study has not led to any unusual beliefs.:slight_smile:

From what I’ve read, any major denomination that believes in “bible only” doesn’t believe that any bloke can interpret it correctly. They still believe there is a proper interpretation of the scriputre. So, they still believe in some kind of authority (with explanation)


While they may not accept any bloke, they may accept someone from behind the black stump or a bloody drongo.

Didn’t William Miller study the bible to determine the precise date(s) of Christ’s Second Coming?

Oneness Pentacostalism comes to mind, although it was born more out of a “revival meeting”

I often see opposing views to Orthodox Christianity, coming from a personal revelation one received, while studying the Scriptures

Im not much for lifting things from wikipedia, but for the sake of expediency, Eh :shrug:

In April 1913, at the World-Wide Apostolic Camp Meeting held in Arroyo Seco, California and conducted by Maria Woodworth-Etter, organizers promised that God would "deal with them, giving them a unity and power that we have not yet known." Canadian R. E. McAlister preached a message about water baptism just prior to a baptismal service that was about to be conducted. His message defended the “single immersion” method and preached “that apostolic baptism was administered as a single immersion in a single name, Jesus Christ,” saying: “The words Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were never used in Christian baptism”. This immediately caused controversy when Frank Denny, a Pentecostal missionary to China, jumped on the platform and tried to censor McAlister. Oneness Pentecostals mark this occasion as the initial “spark” in the Oneness revival movement.

**John G. Schaepe, a young minister, was so moved by McAlister’s revelation that, after praying and reading the Bible all night, he ran through the camp the following morning shouting that he’d received a “revelation” on baptism, that the “name” of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was “Lord Jesus Christ”. **Schaepe (whose name is often misspelled Scheppe in a number of sources) claimed during this camp-meeting that the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost was the name Lord Jesus Christ which name was later part of the baptismal command posited by Peter in Acts 2:38 — i.e., baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ” — was the fulfillment and counterpart of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 constituting baptism “in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (which “name” Oneness believers hold to be that of Jesus).” This conclusion was accepted by several others in the camp and given further theological development by a minister named Frank J. Ewart.

On April 15, 1914, Frank Ewart and Glenn Cook publicly baptized each other in “the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but as the one name of Jesus, not as a Trinitarian formula.” This is considered to be the historical point when Oneness Pentecostalism emerged as a distinct movement.

So you are saying “their Wizard of OZ” is not as good at interpreting the bible as the Catholic succession of “Wizards”

Don’t forget, protestants have plenty of examples of the Catholic wizard not acting as he professes to be (see evil popes)

Yet, none of these “Catholic wizards” revised Catholic dogma in order to suit their own purposes. Popes and bishops will come and go, but evil will never prevail against the OHCA Church.

I believe in personal Bible study absolutely. If you can’t figure out what you are reading, then you can consult authorities. Personally, I love to read the bible without anyone telling me what it means. It really isn’t that difficult to understand, and it totally speaks to your heart.

Are you reflecting on the Millerites?

Yes. I believe this was called the Azusa Experience.


No intellectually honest Catholic will deny this. It is funny that Jesus spoke to this very thing…“All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not according to their works: for they say, and do not.” (Matt23:3)

There are plenty of Protestant, evangelical, fundamentalist, “bible only” examples of this too. Unfortunately, we all suffer from the human condition, and hypocrisy and self-righteousness are just the occupational hazards of religion.

Just because Jim Baker was carousing with prostitutes did not make him any less correct when he said Jesus is Lord.

Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quakers, Prosperity preachers, and your garden variety “Bible Church” springing up on every corner.

The issue does not come out of personal Bible study. Personal Bible study is a good thing.

The issue comes out of trying to create one’s own Magisterium. The funny thing about it is that the Scriptures warn explicitly against that:


But, yet, embracing one’s own “private interpretation” and rejecting “apostolic tradition” is exactly why we have so many different and conflicting versions of “Christianity” these days.


A little OT, but what I find really ironic is that usually as the “magisterium” develops, the congregation most often attempts to recreate early (and what they feel is somehow a more pure) Christianity, and “rediscovers” a long-lost practice of the ancient Church. Anointing is one practice I have seen a lot of fundamentalists “rediscover”.

In my days away from the Church, I remember sitting in a Protestant service and the minister started talking about how “in bible times they used to anoint people with oil”, and invited everyone up so he could anoint them. Being a confirmed Catholic, I found a certain sense of irony that just was not shared with the rest of the congregation, as they sat soaking up his every word, and all eagerly lined up to be anointed…just like the ancient Christians. Unrelated incident, I overheard a woman in the line at the grocery store telling another person how “they used to anoint the hands in the bible”.

I don’t ever have the heart (or maybe the energy for the conversation I know will follow) to tell them that it was never lost, and in their search for Apostolic Christianity, they have privately interpreted what the Catholic Church has been practicing for 2000 years.

That’s very true. Sort of Mars Hill-esque if you think about it:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit